As soon as you hear the birds chirp and see the buds form on the branches of the trees, outside is where you want to be! But, spring in northern Michigan can also bring slush, mud and possibly a little snow, so we’ve pulled together a few activities, indoors and outdoors to consider this spring season that include access to important kid-friendly features like quality programming, family restrooms, clear paths, ample parking, outside covered areas, and more.
Hit the Trails
Northwest Michigan provides an abundance of hiking trails and hitting up a trail with your kids can be the perfect reset from a long winter. Hiking is a fun way to take in the sights, sounds, and scents of every season and can easily become a weekly or even daily activity. Be sure to check out the Michigan Legacy Art Park in Thompsonville. Open daily during daylight hours and costing only $5 for adults (kids are free), the Art Park features over 40 sculptures, located on 30-acres of forest preserve at Crystal Mountain. You can pack a lunch and enjoy it at picnic tables near the trailhead or in the park’s amphitheater area. Crystal Mountain also offers many other additional amenities and services at cost.
In the Park
The First Street Beach in Manistee is a public park space offering two playgrounds, Lighthouse Park and Rocket Park, the beach, and tons of opportunities to play, run, jump, and breath in the fresh springtime air. You can end your day at the park with a stroll along the Riverwalk, which winds along the downtown business district and through the marina.
For those drizzly spring afternoons, stay dry and consider taking in a family movie on the big screen. Many community movie theaters offer discounts for children and even special screenings just for kids like the State Theatre in Traverse City. Showing Saturday Kids Matinees for just a quarter, the State Theatre also features an atmospheric ceiling with twinkly stars mapped by Northwestern Michigan College Astronomy Professor Jerry Dobek to exactly match the stars and constellations of the August night sky of Northern Michigan.
Looking for an outlet to explore and construct? The Open Studio at Create Community Arts Studio in Boyne City, Michigan is open to all ages! The best part is they provide all of the materials in an open collaborative space. Also offering additional programming and workshops geared toward kiddos, Create is a community space that celebrates creativity and self-expression.
There are many different kinds of kid-friendly activities that offer stimulation and opportunities to interact and connect with your child. Be sure to check out what’s available and offered in your community and the surrounding area.